Sunday, September 09, 2012

9-Sep-12: Terrorist rockets strike Netivot, Beersheba in the early morning dark

It's a beautiful late-summer Sunday morning here, and once again the deadly rockets are flying in from Gaza.

Two medium-range Grad rockets (as opposed to the short-range Qassams) fired from an as-yet undisclosed location in Gaza crashed and exploded in southern Israel around 2 this morning. Times of Israel reports that one rocket struck a residence in Netivot, a small desert city of 27,000 people. Fortunately this one happened to be an empty home, and though the property damage is significant, no people were injured from the explosion. The house next door was seriously damaged by shrapnel and the owner, by his own description, was saved from injury by running to the relative safety of his bathroom.

It's worth spending a moment to imagine the horror of a civilian population subjected to entirely indiscriminate rocket fire from a terrorist army that has as much interest in hitting an army base as in hitting a civilian bedroom. That is precisely the character of Gaza's jihadist rocket men and their arsenal of thousands of rockets. Add to it the fact that news coverage of these almost daily rocket attacks is close to zero other than in Israel's own media. The nightmare goes on for the people in the target areas, and no one pays attention - until Israel strikes back.

The second of the two GRAD rockets exploded in an open area of Beersheba. With a population of 195,000 it's the largest of Israel's southern cities. It's reported that three people were hospitalized and  treated for shock.

We also have an unconfirmed report from 7:35 am [Hebrew] that another Sunday morning rocket struck the Hof Ashkelon region. No reports at this stage of injuries or damage.

In the interests of public safety and the knowledge that no one can predict the next steps, school classes were immediately canceled today for the students of Beeresheba and the city of Ashdod (population: about 210,000 and Israel's largest port).

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